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Case study

The challenge

Shifts in consumer and broadcaster behaviour have changed football at all levels. This drove The English Football Association (The FA), the oldest football association in the world, to embed digital innovation within the tools, processes and people that sustain the association’s core operational infrastructure. Deploying data-driven insights and capabilities into digital products and solutions required a reimagining of The FA’s technology ecosystem, which included a disparate range of products and platforms, some over 10 years old. The FA selected Cognizant to deliver on the vision to transform its digital engagement.

Our approach

To stay connected and remain relevant to new generations of players, coaches and fans, our client embraced Cognizant’s next-generation engagement platform to help grow and deepen relationships as well as derive strategic business value from interactive audience engagement. 

Our multidisciplinary business engineering team, embedded at Wembley Stadium HQ physically and virtually, includes business consultants, technology and industry specialists, researchers and anthropologists whose goal is to help The FA adopt a human-centred approach to digital. Cognizant consultants created detailed data segmentation analyses that cut across user personas and preferences. Multiple lenses were used to categorise participation in the sport and engagement with The FA. The insights from this exploration help deliver targeted content to The FA’s audiences and participants. Our consultative approach joins agility with data-driven audience insights.

Data insights drive engagement

Cognizant and The FA’s shared vision makes football easier to find, participate in and run, as well as inclusive. Jon Pollard, head of product management at The FA, says, “What Cognizant have done is mobilised in partnership with us a whole set of skills that has allowed us to engage directly with all the participants in the game, from players to coaches, fans and parents. It’s allowed us to gain a huge amount of value from that real, direct relationship that we now have, which we didn’t have in the past.”

More than 40,000 county teams use the FA Full Time solution, and it has generated over 48 million page views and signed up 2.2 million users. FA Match Day is the biggest app serving the affiliated game, generating over 150,000 downloads and boasting 68,000 weekly users. The FA Service Delivery Support provided by Cognizant streamlines end-to-end IT support operations. As a result, The FA’s customer satisfaction ratings surged from 71% to 94% within 12 months.


customer satisfaction rating within 12 months


increase in youth registration for England Supporters Club and ticket sales


new enrollees for Wildcats, an initiative to encourage young girls to join football clubs